Author Daisy Roberts – She Takes You to the Edge®

Michael Douglas

Originally posted in the blog by Madeline Holler on June 13, 2013

I’m of the mindset that whatever happened in Michael Douglas’s throat should stay in Michael Douglas’s throat. Last week, when Douglas told the Guardian that oral sex is the reason he’s suffering stage four throat cancer, I think we all learned more than we wanted to.

But as long as the cat’s out of the bag … no, that’s not what I want to say. As long as the cunnilingus-throat cancer connection made headlines (ack! I’m still seeing a pun in there) let’s try to find a positive angle in all this TMI: perhaps a greater interest in 1) Gardasil and Cervarix, the vaccines against two types of human papillomavirus virus, and 2) the benefits of these vaccinations for boys.


When Gardasil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, it wasn’t spared the controversy many life-saving vaccines had gotten caught up in. Back then, British researcher Andrew Wakefield’s research that concluded a link between the MMR vaccine and autism had yet to be discredited—which it was, conclusively, in 2010. In addition to the minority, but vocal, opposition to all things vaccination related, Gardasil had the added marketing issue that it protected against the most common sexually transmitted infection, HPV. Some otherwise pro-vaccine parents refused the shot, worrying that it would encourage their 12-year-old daughters to go out and have sex.

Also, though Gardasil’s main intention was to prevent cervical cancer, the company and some doctors recommended boys get the vaccine too, as it not only showed promise in preventing anal cancer, but it also helped prevent the spread of HPV from unsuspecting infected males to their female partners. But studies showed parents rarely submitted their boys to the shots.

Perhaps now that will change.

A report in the Boston Globe found that 70 percent of all throat cancers, which are on the rise, are the result of HPV infection. Researchers think that shifting social norms and increased promiscuity could be the reason for the recent increase, now at 14,000 new cases diagnosed each year—including in patients who never smoked.

Now that we know there can be devastating consequences for men, perhaps Michael Douglas’s humblebrag will change how we think about medically preventing some types of HPV. Among my friends, there is little consensus on whether daughters should get the HPV vaccine. Very few of my fellow parents say they want their sons to get the shot.

I’m very pro-vaccination—the evidence is clear that they’re safe and effective and that my vaccinated kids and their vaccinated friends are why unvaccinated kids fare so well in our community. I’m also very much in favor of the HPV vaccine—my eldest daughter went through the three-shot cycle at 11 years old. Her sister will, too, in a few years. Were either to be diagnosed with cervical cancer, a type that could have been prevented with the shot, I would have a hard time living with the decision to pass up the vaccine. I’m grateful it exists.


Now that I know my son could be at risk, too, not just as a possible transmitter but as a patient, he’ll no doubt be going in for the shot when it’s time. (Though, I was planning to send him in for it anyway, on the notion that he shouldn’t be out there spreading HPV around.)

So, while hearing about Michael Douglas heading downtown with Zeta-Jones is more than I want to know about either of those two, I’m glad he spoke up, and so candidly. Maybe this means parents will consider vaccinating their boys at the same rate as their girls. And herd immunity will offer up protection in the bedroom, too.

July 31, 2013  – In light of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the overwhelming national awareness around numerous issues surrounding this case, the NAACP has developed a set of policy principles called “Trayvon’s Law” which embody legislative responses that will greatly reduce the likelihood of another tragedy like the killing of Trayvon Martin. The principles of Trayvon’s Law are:

In addition, state advocates can include policies that aim to dismantle the school to prison pipeline – which are critical to keeping youth safe and in schools.

Click here for full the description of Trayvon’s Law.

NAACP President & CEO, Benjamin Todd Jealous, hopes this law will ignite a network of nationwide advocates:

“What happened to Trayvon Martin must never happen again,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Trayvon’s Law will serve as the foundation for community advocates as they work to end laws and practices that contributed to his death and to create new policy that will prevent future tragedies.”

Dr. Niaz Kasravi, NAACP Criminal Justice Director, says the law can build safer communities and end unfair practices:

“Trayvon’s Law provides a framework for activists to affect critical change in their states. If we can end practices like racial profiling and remove misguided ‘stand your ground’ laws from the books, we will make all community members safer.”

In Florida, the NAACP Florida State Conference and the Dream Defenders will advocate for their state to adopt Trayvon’s Law immediately. Their work could lead to the end to the “dangerous stand your ground” law that played a role in the acquittal of George Zimmerman for following, approaching, and killing unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin 16 months ago.

Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Florida State Conference President, is working to get Trayvon’s Law at the forefornt of Florida’s legislative agenda:

“We will not rest until Trayvon’s Law is fully implemented in our state. From a civilian oversight board of police to best practices for community watch volunteers, we will demand that the Governor and our legislators move quickly to adopt these principles before we are faced with another tragedy.”



July 31, 2013 – In the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal, Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, are continuing their work to combat gun violence and inequalities in America.

Fulton and Martin are meeting with the National Bar Association as their annual conference in South Florida to discuss the justice system, voting rights and gun violence.

The association is the nation’s oldest and largest association of African-American lawyers and judges.

In a statement released after Zimmerman was acquitted of Trayvon’s death, National Bar Association President John E. Page stated: “The verdict says an unarmed college-bound Black teen can be profiled, stalked, confronted and killed by an armed neighborhood watchman with hollow tip point bullets. We express our heartfelt condolences to Trayvon Martin‘s family on this tragic verdict. We also say ‘Enough is Enough — It is NOT OK to kill our youth.”

Later this week, Martin and Fulton will also speak during the National Association of Black Journalists conference in Kissimmee.

George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., has been charged with second-degree murder in the 17-year-old’s death.
“Just moments ago that we spoke with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the sweet parents of Trayvon,” Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating the case, said at a news conference in Jacksonville.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” she said, declining to discuss specifics of the investigation.
Zimmerman turned himself in and is in police custody in Florida, Corey said, but would not disclose where he is being held.
The announcement comes a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys said that they were dropping the case because their client had stopped communicating with them. On Sunday, Zimmerman launched a website seeking donations for his legal and living expenses.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., a gated community outside of Orlando. He told police he was attacked by Martin and was acting in self-defense.
Earlier this week, Corey announced the case would not go to a grand jury.

Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is scheduled to hold a 6 p.m. press conference in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday, where she is expected to charge George Zimmerman in the 17-year-old’s killing.
It’s not clear what the specific criminal charges will be. Corey’s office confirmed the press conference but did not elaborate on the details.
The announcement comes a day after Zimmerman’s attorneys said that they were dropping the case because their client had stopped communicating with them. On Sunday, Zimmerman launched a website seeking donations for his legal and living expenses.
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., a gated community outside of Orlando. He told police he was attacked by Martin, and was acting in self-defense.
According to the Associated Press, Zimmerman’s arrest is also expected soon.
Earlier this week, Corey announced the case would not go to a grand jury.

By Robin Fisher Roffer

What to do when you’re overworked, overwhelmed and over-everything.
On Saturday afternoon my husband and I climbed into our hot tub for a little soak. Steven had just come home from a 35-mile bike ride; I had just finished writing my blog. Now, I know what you’re thinking: maybe we had a little romance, or just a sweet dash of downtime.


I wanted to talk about my blog. Steven wanted to celebrate his glorious bike ride. He said, “Is there no sacred space for our relationship? Do we always have to talk about work? What about us?” Okay, good questions. Clearly, one of us was better at turning off work than the other (at least on the weekends).

So instead of enjoying each other, we started to bicker and blame. Then we shifted, and stayed inside that hot tub committed to our relationship and finding an answer to stop the insanity. We were burnt out not just on work, but talking about our business ad nauseam for 12 straight years since we had decided to join forces.

There, bathed in New Mexico sunshine and surrounded by juniper and Aspen tree covered mountains, we came to realize that my weekend blog writing and Steven’s massive weekday to-do list left no room for our marriage.

After I poured my heart out, Steven suggested that he’d make dinner on Monday nights while I write my blog. That way, we’d get to unplug, spend time together and fully engage with one another over the weekend. I said, “Really? You would do that for me? He said, “No, for us.” Identifying the exact problem and coming up with a simple, but workable solution proved to be a major breakthrough for Steven and me.

The only way to stop spinning out of control is to do things differently.
It’s Monday night at 7pm and Steven is preparing halibut baked in parchment paper, Simon and Garfunkel’s concert in Central Park is playing in the background, and I’m sipping wine and writing to you. Do I feel guilty because I’m not cooking with Steven? Just a bit. But, I’ll get over it!

In the work I do, I rarely meet a hard-driving business owner or executive who doesn’t fantasize about getting off the hamster wheel. The exit strategy usually centers around having enough money socked away or getting the recognition they deserve. Just how much money or recognition is usually undefined and therefore, unattainable.

Steven and I have always been quite ambitious, but lately we’ve been asking ourselves how much is enough. Our drive is good for each other and toxic at the same time, especially when our fears surface and we fall into our defense mechanisms. It looks like this: he rattles off everything on his to-do list and I tell him how I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Sound familiar? I’ll be it does. And here’s what I’ve noticed: without openhearted compromise and fresh ideas, we will keep going round and round and never move forward.

Tonight my husband is rattling around in the kitchen as I press the keys on my MacBook Pro. Tomorrow we’ll interview three candidates to take over Steven’s to-do list and become his full time assistant. Our fantasy is that next time we get into our hot tub — we’ll do more than compromise and capitulate – we will use the time and space to simply be with each other and NOT talk about work.

How will you leave your overwhelmed, overworked self behind to have a real loving relationship with your partner?

Its been a while since I’ve posted on my official blog. Sorry fans but these last two months, February and March, I’ve had a medical meltdown requiring serious medical intervention. I won’t go into details, but I’ll just say I’m much, much better now! Thank you loyal followers for all of your support. During my absence, Whitney Houston passed away. Whitney was my era’s super, superstar…emboldened true talent. Her death struck me hard as I was, like so many of you, sooooo rooting for her to triumph over her demons. But it wasn’t to be. And so Ms. Whitney Elizabeth Houston, we will miss you immensely, however we look to the memories of the spectacular music you left with us. YOU ARE THE DIAMOND OF MUSIC DIVAS!! AUGUST 9, 1963 – FEBRUARY 11, 2012. YOU MADE ME SO PROUD TO BE AMERICAN & A BLACK WOMAN WHEN YOU BELTED OUT THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER AT THE SUPER BOWL! REST IN PARADISE!

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